WEAVE A MURDEROUS WEB–REVIEWS

Weave A Murderous Web is a mystery set in New York City. It was published in 2016 by Melange Books, LLC, and is available in digital and paper formats at the web site of our publisher (Melange) or on Amazon.

The first reviews are coming in quickly. Unless stated as coming from Readers’ Favorites, they are all on Amazon. Here are a few:

Kirkus Reviews, July 30, 2016

A sleuthing lawyer returns to the streets of New York in this mystery of drugs, murder, and financial skullduggery, the sequel to Praise Her, Praise Diana (2014).

A former pro bono attorney who once helped apprehend a serial killer, Jane Larson is now a rising star in corporate litigation at Adams & Ridge, a prominent New York City law firm. She’s still smarting from the abrupt departure of her boyfriend, David Bialo. The intense, time-consuming job is to blame, and she entertains second thoughts about her career. A lull in her workload and a legal assistant’s plea cause Jane to take over a case of unpaid alimony and child support after the plaintiff’s lawyer dies. Gail Hollings, Jane’s new client, is anything but sympathetic, but Gail’s former husband, Larry Hawkins, is worse. A small-time attorney who’s had his law license suspended, Larry may also be a drug dealer. After he’s found dead, a clear-cut professional hit, Jane discovers that Larry had stolen serious money from the mob. But where is it? Most disturbing is that several of Jane’s acquaintances, including David and her best friend, Lee, also knew Larry and maybe were his customers. Finding Larry’s client files becomes a race among Jane, the police, and the killer. Luckily she meets another lawyer, Bryan, who becomes a source of protection, and more. In this second Larson outing, the husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks (Kate and the Kid, 2016, etc.) has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story. The first-person narrative delivers both caustic wit and serious reflection. Jane is complex, nuanced, and utterly believable as a conflicted professional debating her life’s choices (“Yes, I have been known to throw things and come out with witty but rude remarks after a few too many drinks. However, I have never made myself a fool for love, and I didn’t intend to start now”). The writing is generally so smooth and taut that the occasional bumps—hackneyed language and unnecessary foreshadowing—are easily forgiven. The plot takes on perhaps excessive speed at the end; the riveting climactic scene involves a lot of characters appearing rather suddenly and a bit too conveniently. And, to tie things up, the financial machinations could have used more details and clarity as well. Yet, overall, this is a satisfying read.

An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.

March 27, 2017 — Catherine, Ethereal Pages Blog

This was such a twisted suspense novel!

Weave a Murderous Web begins with Jane Larson, a litigator who works at Adams & Ridge, located in New York City. She decides to help out a friend by becoming involved with a divorce case, but when her opponent is revealed as a drug dealer, Jane is soon pulled into a web of lies and secrets. When people involved with the case begin to be murdered, one by one, Jane realizes the clock is ticking, and she must catch the murderer before she is the next one found dead.

This book began in a very realistic setting: a law firm. Because of that, I think it may have taken me a while to get into, because I had to lug myself past all the technicalities before being able to be pulled in by the story. Once I got past that point, however, the story definitely picked up, and I spent the last 60% of the book completely engrossed in the mystery.

The plot was absolutely packed, and I enjoyed the constant flow of discoveries that really kept me on my toes. What I realized about this book, when I was 80% through it, was that I began to suspect everyone. Everyone. Every single character was somehow flawed and suspicious, and as a reader, I could never let my guard down. To me, that’s definitely a sign of a good thriller story, and it contributed to the depth of the characters very well.

Jane was an extremely likable character, and I really enjoyed how strong and quick on her feet she was. For the other characters, although I felt like the characters we met were multi-faceted, I had a little trouble keeping track of all of them at first because so many were introduced. I found that I sometimes forgot who was who, or couldn’t pinpoint what part they had previously played in the book. I did eventually get a stronger understanding of them, but it still took a while for me to get used to.

There is a small aspect of romance in the book, and I really enjoyed how the author was able to create a balance between calmer moments and more dramatic, action-packed ones. Even the story itself was extremely layered, and we saw a great equilibrium between issues that had to do with the crime and those that leaned more towards Jane’s personal life.

The writing was relatively consistent throughout, and I enjoyed how the author withheld some of the characters’ thoughts from the reader so that I was able to completely immerse myself in the story and create my own conclusions. With that being said, I had actually predicted a bit of the ending early on, but the way everything was revealed was still captivating and I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Overall, I did enjoy reading Weave a Murderous Web although it took me a little time to get into. The plot was a roller coaster ride that was filled with distractions and plot twists, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who likes reading thriller/suspense novels set in the real world.

 

Reviewed By Marta Tandori for Readers’ Favorite– June 9, 2016  — 5 Stars

Weave a Murderous Web is a smart and entertaining mystery by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks that will leave lovers of the genre anxiously waiting for another installment starring the intrepid protagonist, Jane Larson.

Thirty-three-year-old Jane Larson is a litigator with the prestigious New York firm of Adams & Ridge and, while she may be the shining star in her firm’s litigation roster, she can certainly use some help with her love life, according to her socialite friend, Lee, after Jane’s last relationship with boyfriend, David, drove him into the arms of another woman, to whom he’s now engaged. Having just successfully settled a major litigation, Jane’s still basking in the afterglow of a job well done when she’s approached by her friend, Francine, a legal assistant with the firm. Francine tells Jane that her good friend, Gail Hollings, is in a jam and desperately needs Jane’s help. Gail is in the middle of a court battle with her former husband, Larry Hawkins, a deadbeat dad and a questionable attorney, who had only just gotten his license back after being suspended for appropriating his client’s funds without their permission. Gail’s attorney has recently died of a drug overdose and, after giving him all her money, she has none left to pay another attorney – and she has a court appearance coming up later in the day. Jane reluctantly agrees to appear on her behalf, with her plan being to ask the court for an adjournment until Gail can retain other legal representation.

In addition to there being a good, solid plot in Weave a Murderous Web, there’s also a great protagonist in Jane Larson. While Jane is confident and knows she’s good at what she does, this confidence is contrasted by her insecurities as a woman who wants to be with a man, but is only starting to realize that her failed relationship with her former boyfriend, David, had been doomed from the outset due to her inability to divorce herself enough from her work life in order to actually commit to a personal life. Jane also doesn’t take herself too seriously and is grounded more than most litigators of her ilk, thanks to her former stint working for Legal Services for the Poor. In other words, Jane Larson has the complete package of brains, good looks and spunk, an unbeatable combination that makes for a compelling protagonist. The Hicks team also provides a colourful cast of supporting characters in the form of Jane’s friends, Francine and Lee, as well as the reporter, Carmen Ruiz, who provide the perfect foils for Jane’s character.

Weave a Murderous Web has plenty to keep the reader engaged as Jane digs in her heels, determined to get to the truth. Witty dialogue, supported by great writing and some understated humor, makes this book not only a must-read – but also a darned good one!

Andrea — June 7, 2016 — 5 Stars

Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite — June 6, 2016 — 5 Stars

Weave a Murderous Web: A Jane Larson Novel by Kenneth Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks is a murder slash thriller slash mystery novel that took me by surprise. I was surprised to find the book more than interesting and to be proven wrong about my conviction that two authors can’t write a beautiful story. A case that starts as a pro bono, a simple favor to a friend, soon becomes a complicated investigation involving lies, drugs, and murder and is certainly one to reckon with. After lawyer Mark Samuel’s murder, Jane’s friend, Francine, asked her to check if there is anything she can do. When she starts investigating, awful things start happening and people get killed, and it seems like the danger only gets closer. Now she knows she must find out who is behind the killings quickly as her life is on the line. Yes, everything suggests she could be the next victim.

The action is breathtaking and the writing beautiful. Weave a Murderous Web: A Jane Larson Novel is a story that reminds me of the characters of John Grisham’s Gray Mountain, and the two authors, Kenneth Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks, seem to have done their homework pretty well before casting their characters. Jane Larson is the kind of character that will be loved by many readers, an intelligent woman with a sharp wit, driven and facing dangers in the name of truth. The plot is well thought out and masterfully executed, laced with numerous surprises to keep readers turning the pages. This is one of those books that should occupy an enviable place in your shelf if you are into fast-paced thrillers and compelling investigative stories. Jane Larson is the kind of interesting character that readers will stick with for long.

Reviewed by Conda Douglas — June 4, 2016 — 5 Stars

This is a good solid thriller. But I’m giving it five stars for two reasons: first, the Jane Larson character is well-developed and complex. I love that she is a New Yorker female attorney. She could so easily be a cliche. Instead she’s strong, intelligent and capable without being a guy in a skirt. Jane also reads as a true New Yorker, someone who lives and works there. Again, instead of a cliche “New Yorker,” her day-to-day life is believable and complex.

That leads me to the second reason. I love books where the setting comes alive. Where I feel like I’m in the place, with people who live there. This is true in this novel. These authors know the setting and make it real.

I’m looking forward to the next in this series.”

Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite– June 3, 20116– 5 Stars.

Weave a Murderous Web by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks is a murderous tale of intrigue. Jane Larson, attorney at law, learns “sometimes things aren’t always as they appear.” Proving herself as a successful litigator, Jane has become a corporate warrior for the firm of Adam & Ridge. Unafraid of a courtroom trial, she always looks forward to a good fight. Jane is talked into taking a matrimonial case by a distressed co-worker; it is a friend of a friend situation. Big mistake. Before she knows it, the case turns into a deathly spiral, creating a web of murder and deceit. Somehow, some way, all of Jane’s closest friends are caught in the murderous mesh. Who can she trust? What causes someone to murder – greed, retribution, or could it possibly be love? The closer Jane comes to solving this puzzling question, the more confusing and dangerous her life becomes.

Weave a Murderous Web is an enthralling murder mystery. It gets your heart pounding with action and passion, while simultaneously entangling your mind with its ambiguity. The dynamic duo has done it again. The husband and wife writing team of Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks pens another on-the-edge-of-your seat murder mystery. Engaging. Witty. Fast paced. I love the Hicks’ contemporary writing style. The narrative is full of delightful metaphorical statements. The setting takes you into the heart of New York City – it reflects just the right amount of ambiance. As a reader, you are pressed by congested streets, you imagine the centuries-old architecture, you can taste the local cuisine, and hear the constant hum of the city’s movement. Written in first person, the narrative enables you to experience the story through the eyes, ears, and emotions of the protagonist. The characterization is balanced with a bold and equally audacious cast of characters. However, the relentless, go-getting, do or die personality of the heroine takes center stage. The realistic dialogues draw the reader into the story, involving you in the repartee of the conversations. As the plot progresses, the intensity heightens, catapulting you into a surprising twist, then plummets you into a sudden, yet satisfying end.

Susan Bernhardt — April 8, 2016 — 5 stars

A Gripping Thriller – I just finished reading “Weave a Murderous Web.” I had been looking forward to the thriller’s release since I read two other novels by outstanding authors, Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks.

I wasn’t disappointed. Immediately I liked the protagonist, Jane Larson the smart, witty, and sarcastic litigator who takes on a pro bono case as a favor to her friend, Francine, a legal assistant at her law firm. From the start this reader knew that wasn’t a great idea. The story weaves through many twists and turns leading to betrayal, deceit, danger, and murder.

The complex story with it’s great plot had the multidimensional characters and smart dialogue that I have come to expect in the Rothman-Hicks and Hicks novels. I loved New York City as the backdrop and pictured areas of the city as they were mentioned.

Hall Ways — April 13, 2016 — 5 Stars

There is a whole lot going on in this book to keep readers’ minds engaged and fingers turning pages. At its core, Weave a Murderous Web is a mystery, but it is multi-tiered and includes a wide cast of characters and just as many red herrings to keep readers guessing at the numerous whodunits. Included in the list of issues to be resolved and solved are: murder, arson, theft, drugs, cheating, bribery, blackmail, and a sprinkling of love, lust, humor, and heartbreak.

The characters are particularly well-written — from the couple who run the local diner to the flamboyant news reporter — each memorable in his or her own way. There are loathsome characters, but among the rest, the authors expertly tug readers back and forth so that it’s never clear-cut who is trustworthy and who is not. Main character Jane Larson is the first to recognize her own flaws, but she’s also not certain she’s ready to fix them head-on. That, and her sometimes lack of good judgment when she knows better, makes her more realistic.

The authors did several interesting things in telling the story. First, the story is told from Jane’s perspective and Jane directly addresses the readers. Second, in the beginning, Jane is telling the story in reflection and notes to herself and readers that she didn’t recognize signs of things to come as they were presented to her. And finally, though it is first person point of view, readers only selectively know why Jane does some of the things she does. These things, plus the many forms of figurative language Jane uses to convey her thoughts, make the writing enjoyable.Where the writing could be improved is by a thorough editing; there are consistent comma and other punctuation errors, several agreement errors, and a few typos. For most people, this won’t be distracting but it was for this reader, who admittedly is cursed with an overly sensitive editing eye.

As the story unfolds, there are twists and turns, dangers and deceptions. When the story reaches its climax, several things come brilliantly into focus, but other things aren’t explained well enough to understand the motivations for what occurred. There is so much implied and unspoken that I’m really not sure I could write a summary that had the correct ending. Even so, I knew enough and was mostly satisfied with how the story concluded.

Weave a Murderous Web’s main character Jane Larson is featured in another already published novel, Praise Her, Praise Diana, and a third Jane Larson book is expected in 2017. I look forward to reading both! Thank you to the authors and Magic of Books promotions for providing me an eBook in exchange for my honest review — the only kind I give. If you like this review, visit my blog Hall Ways for book views, reviews, and news you can use – or not.